Saturday, 6 April 2013

Vegetarian Dining at Moor Hall Hotel

Aside from vegetarian restaurants where the menus are 100% veggie friendly, it's usually the norm for restaurants to only have a couple of vegetarian options on offer.  So when presented with a menu full of choice, it comes as a welcomed change.

Moor Hall Hotel

Such  choices were available when I, (with my husband), were invited to The Oak Room Restaurant at Moor Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, and we experienced their dedicated vegetarian menu, which runs in parallel to their standard menu offerings.  

Homemade Bread Rolls with Garlic & Herb and
Tomato & Chilli Butter Patties

Our meal commenced with fresh, made on the premises, bread rolls.  The rolls came with patties of homemade garlic & herb butter (which had a pleasant, warming punchy taste) and also tomato & chilli butter, which was smattered with chunks of tomato and provided a flavoursome yet creamy taste.

Goats' Cheese Brulee

For starters, I had the Goats' Cheese Brulee which was served with a homemade bread roll, rocket leaves and sweet chilli jam.  The goats' cheese, with a crumb topping, was soft with a slight sharp tang and when dipped in the sweet chilli jam, it offered a delicious contrast that lifted the cheese and with the addition of the peppery rocket leaves, it gave it an extra dimension.  It all made for a perfect taste combination.

Wild Mushrooms

My husband had Wild Mushrooms, (an alteration from the menu's Baked Flat Mushroom), which were roasted and served with a tomato confit, accompanied by crushed green olives and a croute slice.  He commented how the sweetness of the tomato gave a pleasant diversity to the salty olives and the mushrooms' softness balanced nicely against the crunchiness of the croute.

Tomato & Courgette Bake
For the main course, I opted for the Tomato & Aubergine Bake.  The aubergine was substituted, (due to no availability), with courgette which the staff suggested as an alternative and they were very willing to ensure that the meal was prepared to my satisfaction to accommodate the change.  The bake consisted of a layered tower of tomatoes, mozzarella, sage, mixed vegetables and courgette ribbons drizzled in a rich tomato sauce.  It was very hearty and the parity of vegetables and cheese worked well together.

Spinach & Potato Cake

My husband had the Spinach & Potato Cake which was coated in crumbs with a sweet & sour sauce and served with wilted vegetables.  Extremely well presented, the cake, which when combined with the sauce, enhanced the taste of the spinach and acted as the perfect accompaniment.

Although the desserts are featured within the vegetarian menu, it is worth noting that not all desserts are suitable for strict vegetarians who omit animal derived ingredients from their diet.  For instance the mousse and panna cotta are not suitable due to gelatine content.  But The Oak Room staff were extremely knowledgeable about all the dishes on the menu and were happy to provide clarification and guidance through the list of desserts to ascertain suitability.

Lemon Tart with Lemon Ice Cream

Lemon Tart is what my husband selected for dessert which was served with a shortbread biscuit and lemon ice cream.  It consisted of a velvety, sweet yet zesty tart filling with the taste of real lemons on a pastry base.  A refreshing palette-cleansing dessert, ideal for post-meal and yet very light.

Creme Brulee with Passion Fruit Ice Cream

I chose the Creme Brulee (a double brulee dinner for me I know!), served with roasted pineapple, a homemade shortbread biscuit and passion fruit ice cream.  The brulee had a nice caramelised crunch layer on top with the creme being thoroughly creamy, thick and indulgent.  The taste of vanilla came through with  vanilla seeds present in the mix.  The pineapple was exquisitely sweet as it had been roasted which worked beautifully with the delicately infused passion fruit ice cream.

The Oak Room Restaurant

The Oak Room provides an opulent setting with high ceilings, fascinating paintings, ornate stain glass windows and a large fire place.  Staff were attentive without being intrusive and eagerly offered guidance and suggestions when requested.

Painting in The Oak Room Restaurant

I would definitely return to and recommend Moor Hall Hotel for fine dining, with a special recommendation for vegetarians who can enjoy a broad selection of dishes.  In addition, my carnivorous husband was very impressed with the vegetarian choices and the courses he had and stated that he didn't miss the meat element of the meal at all - and that is praise indeed!!

For information about The Oak Room Restaurant and Moor Hall Hotel visit:

Disclosure:  This post was written following a kind invitation from Moor Hall Hotel to experience the vegetarian menu at The Oak Room Restaurant.  This review was conducted with honesty, without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 

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